Thu | Feb 27, 2020

Don’t rush the process, Zion – Antetokounmpo

Published:Friday | January 24, 2020 | 12:33 AM
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (right) goes to the basket against San Antonio Spurs centre Jakob Poeltl in the second half of their NBA game in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday.
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (right) goes to the basket against San Antonio Spurs centre Jakob Poeltl in the second half of their NBA game in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday.

PARIS, France (AP):

The NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player has simple advice for the player many are viewing as a future MVP after his show-stopping debut.

“Don’t rush the process,” was the message that Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo sent to Zion Williamson yesterday from Paris.

The 19-year-old Williamson made his highly anticipated NBA debut for New Orleans Pelicans against San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

The NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick had the crowd on their feet and asking for more after scoring 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 121-117 loss which took a back seat to Williamson’s impact.

Antetokounmpo, an NBA All-Star for the past three years, knows what it’s like to be surrounded by hype and urged Williamson to take his time.

“You’re going to be a beast, the whole league knows you’re going to be a beast,” Antetokounmpo said in Paris, where the Bucks will take on the Charlotte Hornets this afternoon. “Just take it step by step, day by day.”

Because of the time difference, Antetokounmpo was already asleep in his Parisian hotel when Williamson was putting on a show in New Orleans.

“I wasn’t able to watch it because it was late here. But when I woke up I watched the highlights and saw that he scored 17 points (in barely more than three minutes ),” Antetokounmpo said. “It’s amazing. I’m really excited for him.”

Antetokounmpo is one of the front-runners for the MVP title again this year, and will be looking for a fifth triple-double of the season against the Hornets, the first regular-season game to be played in France.

The 25-year-old Antetokounmpo is in stellar form himself. He had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in just 31 minutes of the Bucks’ 111-98 win against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, reaching a career milestone of 10,000 points in the process.